Hundreds of runway shows will have taken place in New York, London, Milan and Paris by the end of those four cities’ consecutive fashion weeks — or fashion month. Even for the most clothes-obsessed, that’s a lot to keep up with. And what happens inside the fall 2023 shows is only part of the action: For every runway spectacle, there are others just as captivating in the crowd or on the street.
The following collection of articles is a guide to the most memorable shows, clothes and moments witnessed by Styles reporters and editors during fashion month. (Yes, that was Greg from “The White Lotus” walking the Eckhaus Latta runway.) New York Fashion Week may be over, but London, Milan and Paris are still to come. We’ll be there reporting, reviewing — and adding to this list as we do.
Different Visions of Dressing Rich
On several runways in New York, Vanessa Friedman, The Times’s chief fashion critic, wrote, “The story the clothes told this fashion week was one of redefinition: a change in the hierarchy of aspiration and wealth, the sartorial codes that signpost power and success.”
Labels that offered interpretations on what it means to dress rich included some familiar names — Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera — and some younger brands worth becoming more familiar with, including Luar and Who Decides War.
Downed Planes and Decadent Dinner Parties
A common refrain in fashion is that clothes speak for themselves. But sometimes elaborately crafted sets can enhance the allure of pieces on a runway.
At Thom Browne, models paraded past a life-size biplane that appeared to have crash landed in a clock-shaped desert made using eight tons of sand. And at Rodarte, a collection featuring what Vanessa Friedman, The Times’s chief fashion critic, described as “Morticia Addams gowns” and “cobwebby” knits was shown inside an old bank that had been filled with shimmering silver dining tables, chairs and candelabras that heightened the drama of the clothes.
Fashion That Embraces Imperfection
Coach, in recent years, “has made a signature out of PG-rated wardrobes,” as Vanessa Friedman, The Times’s chief fashion critic, put it. But its latest show featured what she described as “roughed up” basics — created with recycled, upcycled and salvaged materials that made the clothes look “as if they had been put through the wringer and emerged, victorious, on the other side.”
Elena Velez, who in 2022 was named emerging designer of the year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, doubled down on showcasing the beauty in imperfection. “Her clothes are ripped, raw, bound and salvaged,” Vanessa wrote, adding that “the bodies on her runway are human-scale messy.”
Ahead of Milan Fashion Week, a Hunger Strike
Stella Jean, the Haitian Italian fashion designer who started showing in Milan in 2013, is the only Black member of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, the organization that stages the city’s fall and spring fashion weeks.
A few years after calling out what she described as a lack of support for Black designers within the Italian fashion industry, Ms. Jean announced this month that she would go on a hunger strike to draw attention to the issue, which, in her opinion, has not largely improved.
A Pipeline From ‘The White Lotus’ to the Runway
Since the HBO series “The White Lotus” ended its second season in December, many of its cast members have sat in the front row at shows. But the actor Jon Gries was “the first to be seen on the runway during New York Fashion Week,” Jessica Testa, a Times reporter of fashion news, wrote.
In the series, Mr. Gries plays Greg, the husband of Tanya McQuoid. On the runway at Eckhaus Latta, he modeled a loosefitting yellowish-green sweater and wide-leg linen pants. Walking in a fashion show, he told Jessica, was “something I’d never done and something I wanted to try.” He also suggested that “White Lotus” viewers might not have seen the last of Tanya after her fall from a yacht into the sea.
The Trend of ‘Wearable Clothes’
At the New York shows of labels both established (Proenza Schouler) and emerging (Fforme), Vanessa Friedman, The Times’s chief fashion critic, observed something “radical,” as she put it: clothes designed more to be worn than to be noticed.
The amount of time now spent online “puts a premium on the viral, which itself puts a premium on the extreme and absurd,” she wrote, adding that “just because a garment doesn’t scream, ‘Look at me!,’ it doesn’t mean that it’s boring or corporate or pandering.”
Models Cosplaying as Rabbits and Reptiles
On Feb. 10, the first day of New York Fashion Week, it didn’t take long before things got wild: That evening, Collina Strada presented its collection on models made up to look like a small zoo’s worth of animals.
Some had the scaly faces of reptiles, others the buck teeth of rabbits or the snouts of pigs. Beneath all that makeup, on the models’ bodies, there were some striking clothes, too.
Was That Vivienne Westwood?
New York Fashion Week unofficially started on Feb. 2, when Marc Jacobs held his fall 2023 show more than a week before the official schedule began.
As models started walking down the runway, it became clear that the collection, called “Heroes,” was a tribute to the British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, who died in December and was a hero to many (in fashion, at least) for bringing punk from the fringe to the mainstream.